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A Protocol for Silver Staining Ion Transport Epithelia of Whole Animals and Excised Organs

  • Charles W. Holliday (a1)

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Those of us who study the structure and physiological function of ion transport cells in animals or their excised organs (gills, for example) are always interested in “quick and dirty” screening methods to identify ion transport epithelia. Having identified epithelial areas rich in putative “ionocytes”, we are also interested in looking at the mix of non-transport cells and “ionocytes” in the tissue. The so-called “silver staining” method can satisfy both of these desiderata quickly and easily.

Silver staining selectively blackens areas of the organism's body surface which are very permeable to chloride and/or silver ions; such areas are often the sites of ion transport epithelia (Croghan, 1958; Holliday, et al., 1990; Kikuchi & Shirashi, 1997).

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References

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Barra, J.-A., Pequeux, A. and Humbert, W. (1983). A morphological study on gills of a crab acclimated to fresh water. Tissue & Cell 15:583596.
Croghan, P.C. (1958). The mechanism of osmotic regulation in Artemia salina (L); the physiology of the branchiae. Journal of Experimental Biology. 35: 234242.
Holliday, C.W., (1988). Branchial Na, K-ATPase and osmoregulation in the isopod, Idotea woesnesenskii . Journal of Experimental Biology 136: 259272.
Holliday, C.W., Roye, D.B. and Roer, R.D. (1990). Salinity-induced changes in branchial Na, K-ATPase activity and transepithelial potential difference in the brine shrimp Artemia salina. Journal of Experimental Biology 151:279296, 1990.
Kikuchi, S., and Shiraishi, K. (1997). Infrastructure and ion permeability of the two types of epithelial cell arranged alternately in the gill of the fresh water branchiopod Caenestheriella gifuensis (Crustacea). Zoomorphology 117:53-6

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A Protocol for Silver Staining Ion Transport Epithelia of Whole Animals and Excised Organs

  • Charles W. Holliday (a1)

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